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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been reading "CHOSIN" because my father, now deceased, was in Korea during the War. I keep reading of M1's Jamming and Failures to fire as I read the book. Was it Lubrication related, or Ammo related, or a combination?

Bill would you care to expand the subject as you are the Ordance Expert. I was most distressed by the references to Weapons problems that showed up on almost every page.

I love the M1/M14/M1A, but I have often wondered why my father mentioned that he carried either an M1 or a BAR. He stated the carbine was a pile of crap!

Hansel
 

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I have a thaught. Since being from north dakota and have been in norway during training. I have seen parts freez up from not beeing properly lubbed.
I've had my 1903 springfield freeze up ( the extractor) during hunting, beeing cold with humid condition (yes you can still have humidity while during freezing conditions) this beeing said, leaving the cold getting into a warm pickup the cold metal parts will instatly form condensation to these metal parts and then jump out of the truck into freezing cold the condensation then freezes up real quick if not properly lubbed.
But now beeing in combat with no place to get warmed up, this condensation will form durring high rates of fire warming these parts up. Now if suddenly you stop firing and parts not well lubbed with the proper winter lubricant parts freez up.

hope this helps. USMC-1
 

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Weapons freezing up is caused by the lub freezing in very cold weather. As for the carbine, it is a close defense weapon usually issued to leaders, crew served weapons personnal and radio operators. To engage in distant targets as found in the mountains of Korea the Bar and Garand was the best weapon. Its better to hit them three hundred yards away with a Garand then 100 yards away with a carbine. This knowledge was gained by talking with an uncle who fought on IWO and another who made the Inchon assualt and fought his way to and from the Chosen. Chesty once said "if you can't hit them you can't hurt them" with the M1 and the Bar you could do both.

USAF2
 

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I shoot in the dead of winter even if it's too cold to really be out. (read -10F) I had quite a problem with some older 50's era 7.62x54r corrosive ammo not firing unles it had a few primer hits. the newer stuff, Wolf, fired fine even at that temp. my conclusion was that the colder the ammo got the slower it burned and became less stable. If you grease your rifle with regular mil spec grease and try to shoot it in the cold, you WILL experience a slower action due solely to the grease being cold. as mentioned above if you shoot and heat up your action, you will get condensation, and even ice build up if it is snowing.
the open action of the M1/M14 family is especially suseptable to this and the need for grease make this a more vulnerable firearm in extreme cold and snowy weather (below about 10F). If you follow greasing instructions for cold weather it will help. too bad they dont make an AK in .308 huh?
Jack
 

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I've got a couple of the reports from the 1960s when the U. S. Army tested various lubricants in the Arctic. The M14 was among the test platforms. Based on those reports and other Army documents I've read, here's what I've added to the draft of the Third Edition of M14 Rifle History and Development:

"Cold Climate Care - For temperatures below freezing, all moisture and excess lubricant must be removed to keep the rifle working properly. In extensive arctic testing in the winter of 1968, the U. S. Army found the M14 malfunctioned 137 times out of 30,000 rounds fired (0.5 %) using five unlubricated rifles in ambient temperature ranging from 35 degrees Fahrenheit to - 58 degrees Fahrenheit. Among this set of five rifles, the most common malfunction was the failure of the bolt to lock open (44 of 137 instances). When LSA lubricant (then MIL-L-46000A) was used in the same test, the malfunction rate dropped to 23 malfunctions in 30,000 rounds fired (0.07 %) with another set of five M14 rifles. Each rifle was field stripped and cleaned every 1000 rounds during the test. LSA lubricant is no longer available in the military supply system.

The U. S. Navy prescribes a light coat of the synthetic blend, Cleaner Lubricant Preservative (CLP), in subzero temperature. The Mk 14 Mod 0 operator manual states CLP will provide adequate lubrication between 0 and - 35 degrees Fahrenheit in areas where grease is normally applied with the exception of the bolt roller. Regardless, it is best to keep the rifle outside in the cold air in such conditions. Without risking loss of life or limb, cover the rifle with cover (poncho, blanket, tarp, etc.) to protect it from snow or ice. If the rifle is brought into a heated space, do not clean it until the rifle has reached room temperature at which time it can be thoroughly cleaned of all moisture."
 

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I had an father and uncle in Korea. They said they stripped down their M1's and dipped them in huge pots of boiling water to strip all the grease and oil before they deployed.

Also my cousin and I were deer hunting late in the season a few years ago. It was 28 below and he came back to our cabin with 6 30-06 rounds that had the primer fully dented but didn't go off. The ammo was brand new remington.
 

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Having had a government paid vacation " Assigned to Eielson AFB Alaska" where fishing and hunting was the mission, life as we knew it change at -20 beow zero. I could cross country ski at -10 but at -20 things got really strange. The smoke from a fireplace hung about 20 feet from the ground. Car exaust and jet engine exhaust made fog. A weapon would have to be degreased to function in cold weather. At -20 to -40 you just hunker and survive.

USAF2
 

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North Pole

When the Sub I was on went to the Pole on a Northern Run in the 80's we would brake through the ice and walk around the ice in -45 that was our liberty USN3 that also was the only place we stopped in 9 mos out, anyway we had to station the Were Bear watch (Polar Bear) with our M14 and part of the Cold weather prep was to remove all grease and just use CLP on the rifles by the way the reason we used to call it Werebear watch was the other thing they made us use we were given silver bullets and I kid you not they were silver. I heard they had something to do with shooting at a bear running right at you and how a normal round would mushroom or something.
 

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Trigger Pull

FYI: my data says that your match trigger pull will be lower at lower temperatures. I got caught by this once during a trigger weighing on a cold morning before a leg match.

Cold in FLA is anything less than 50 deg F!
 

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I suppose if you have to do much shooting in temps below zero, then you must have a pretty good reason, and wear on the rifle is not a primary concern. I wonder if shooting without lubrication was detrimental to the longevity of the firearm?

Whelen
 

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The army did issue a "light Arctic Weapons" oil. In fact I have a qt can of it. It runs and is extremely light. It smells and looks a lot like auto transmission fluid, right down to the red color and odd smell. It also eats right through plastic bottles that Rem oil comes in - I put some in a used Rem oil bottle and it took about 3 weeks for it to eat the bottom out of the bottle. The can does have a warning that this stuff will take paint off, eat plastic etc, but I tried it anyway.

I don't think it would be very good on an M1/M14 except in the arctic or sub zero freezing weather as it runs too much. I normally use it for handgun internal lubrication on semi auto pistols and it works good for that but then I don't put grease on them.

I picked up that qt can many years ago for .25 cents at a Surplus store along with cosmoline and several other kinds of GI weapons oil including a can marked for aircraft weapons.
 

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-5 no problem here

We make a point to take our battle rifles out at least once during the hottest weater and the coldest weather each year. I can remember 2 years ago that was -5 F and my m1a performed as normal, without any "cold weather" special care.


cz
 

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If you want a good perspective on the topic read the book
US Infantry Weapons in Combat by Mark G. Goodwin.

There is some amazing stuff in that book from interviews with US Military personnel from WW2 and Korea. From the jungles, to the deserts, to the winters of Korea all the weapons used are covered.
 

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In some sense if you are going to get into a gun fight at -20 degrees like an artic climate, I've now come to the conclusion its best to retreat to a warmer climate for the winter, let the bad guys freeze during the winter and then take the area when it warms up.

USAF2
 

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Hans original post

I may have misread Hans' original post, but it looks like he also asked why his dad carried an M1 or a BAR
<and not a M14>
If this was part of your original question... the M14 wasn't developed yet during the Korean War. Also, HRA and IHC didn't deliver any of their M1 Garands in time for Korea... they just missed.

Hope this helps!

OnTargetFL
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
My Father was with the units in Northern Korea during that Bitter Winter in Korea, in which the temperature was well below 20 below zero at nights.

He told me of weapons problems that affected all U.S. weapons during extreme cold (the weapons didn't cycle, Jammed, didn't fire).
He also told me that in his experience the M1 CARBINE was a pile of crap Esp. in extreme cold conditions, and it often failed to drop Chinese troops even at short range. He was a Master Sgt at the time and always carried either the BAR (loved the BAR) or an M1 Rifle.
He told stories of the Chinese coming across a bridge as a mass, 5-7 abreast each carrying a BURP GUN and a bed roll across the chest in the Padded/quilted combat uniforms. He told me that the Burp guns would fire cold, rain, sleet, snow, heat, or mud.

I also understand that when that when the lines stabilized in the later part of the war the range was often from hill to hill and longer ranges.

My question was if the Problems were due to the AMMO or the weapons, or the Lubricants. All I know is that it was a very big problem for U.S. Weapons during the Korean conflict according to my Father, and as written about in the book "Chosin"

The M14 was not developed until AFTER the Korean War.

Hans
 
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